Twitter layoff: What should H1B visa holders do now to stay back in the US? Immigration lawyer explains

Following Friday’s Twitter dismissal, the future of H1B visa holders hangs in the balance. In the next 60 days they must either find another company to finance their visas or leave the country. Forbes has cited that about 600 to 700 people who worked at Twitter were H1B visa holders, which is about 8% to 10% of the total workforce. While it’s not exactly clear how many in this category actually received the pink slip, it’s believed to be a significant chunk.

Twitter buzzes with the thought. Some people have pointed out that “a lot of these people may have had a green card application pending through Twitter sponsorship” and if they don’t find a job in 60 days, they’ll have to start all over again. Others said given that December is mostly a holiday month ‘they actually have a shorter amount of time to find another company to sponsor their visa.’

Amid such threats, many are still confused as to what grace period to consider and how to remain in the country if they cannot find another sponsor. Let’s dive deeper to find answers to these questions.

What grace period do H1B visa holders get after discharge?

In response, immigration attorney Robert Webber says on Linkedin that if you’re fired today and your employer says you’ll be paid until January 4, 2023 (as hypothetical), then you might have a question about how long your H 1B grace period is.

— In my view, it is safest to assume that your grace period is 60 days from today (the day you were released), but you could argue that your grace period is 60 days beyond your last day on January 4th get paid. But I think it’s best practice to apply for an H-1B change of employer before 60 days from today.

Should one consider leaving the US during this time?

I would NOT leave and re-enter the US if I no longer work for the employer even if you get paid. I think that’s pretty risky. If you absolutely must leave the US, then I would stay abroad and try to get a new job from abroad and have the H-1B transfer application filed for consular processing and then only re-enter the US after the new employer H-1B petition is approved. You can then re-enter the United States on the new employer’s I-797 (H-1B approval) visa or apply for a new visa based on the new employer’s approval notice.

What other options are there to stay in the country if the H1B visa holder cannot find another sponsor?

If after about 45 days you do not have a job offer for an H-1B transfer, I would consider preparing an I-539 application to file an I-539 application to change status from H-1B to B -2 to change. Buy time” to leave the US. You can apply for another 6 months. You will not have a work permit so this is based on the assumption that you can support yourself based on your savings.

Twitter laid off about half of its 7,500 employees on Friday. Its new owner, Elon Musk, insisted the layoffs were necessary as the company was losing more than $4 million a day.

Twitter has long struggled to turn a profit and has not been able to keep up with Facebook, Instagram and TikTok in attracting new users.

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